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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Death row inmate Troy Davis loses federal appeal

click to enlarge Troy Davis
  • Troy Davis

Longtime Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, whose innocence claims have attracted national attention and who's received three last-minute stays of execution, has lost what could be the last appeal to spare his life.

According the the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, issued today [PDF]:

Davis has failed to adequately explain why he had not exhausted his state remedies concerning ... prior to filing his first federal habeas petition.

Basically, it's not a matter of too little evidence in Davis' favor but, rather, evidence that was presented way too late.

According to the AJC:

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Davis’ bid in a 2-1 decision, saying he could not file a new appeal raising claims of innocence. But the court continued his stay of execution for 30 more days so Davis can pursue his final appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In December 2008, a three-judge panel heard Davis' most recent federal appeal for a new trial. Through his attorneys, Davis claims to have been wrongfully convicted in 1991 of killing a Savannah police officer. Seven of the nine witnesses who testified against Davis at trial have since recanted their testimony — many of them claiming that they were coerced into identifying Davis by the police department colleagues of murdered officer Mark MacPhail.

(Photo courtesy Georgia Department of Corrections)

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